My silent NAS / homeserver build (Jonsbo N2, N100, mostly SSD)

  • I've had the plan to replace the 2-bay Qnap NAS and my HomeAssistant-and-other-stuff-serving Raspberry Pi 4 for a while now, and finally decided to act on it. After some research, here's what I came up with for the new NAS-and-homeserver-build of 2024:



    - Jonsbo N2 ITX case
    - Asus Prime N100I-D D4 mainboard with the Intel N100 CPU and passive cooling
    - 16GB DDR4 RAM
    - ASM1166-based M.2 to 6x SATA adapter
    - beQuiet! SFX Power 3 300W PSU *
    - Noctua NF-A12x25 LS-PWM fan to replace the loud built-in drive bay fan in the case
    - 256GB Intenso boot SSD
    - 4TB Crucial MX500 SSD for the initial storage, to be expanded later


    The case offers 5 bays for 3.5" HDDs, which I will mostly misuse with 2.5" SSDs instead riding on adapters so they properly fit. Found an adapter design that I liked and works perfectly on Printables.



    The whole idea is to make this thing run silently and at very low power, and functionally replace both my old NAS and the Raspberry Pi "server". Software-wise, this will run OpenMediaVault 7 with Docker (via OMV Compose) for the "server" purposes.


    Primary storage will be all-SSD. After some discussion on a different forum, I decided to bin all the plans for RAID and go with good ol' JBOD, and use multi-layer backups for redundancy. Those layers will be:


    - Level 1: both 4TB HDDs from the old NAS running as in-system backup, plugged into slots 4/5 in the case, configured to spindown and only ever come online for nightly rsync snapshots of the primary storage.
    - Level 2: external 8TB HDD that will stay plugged into the NAS, normally fully powered down via a smart power plug, only turned on and mounted automatically for weekly backups of Level 1 data, and then unmounted and turned back off.


    The build went quite well, nothing complex here - everything is nicely plug-and-play, not much to go wrong. Only annoyance is that the mainboard doesn't have a Type-E USB header for the front Type-C port of the case. I left it unplugged for now, might get a PCI-E card with some C ports and an internal Type-E should the need actually arise at some point.



    Some challenges that have come up:


    - The built-in 120mm fan is quite loud, so from the start I got a PWM-controllable Noctua 120mm to replace it. Unfortunately, it is a fair bit thicker, and the power and SATA connections on the back of the drive bay board didn't clear:



    Solution was found on Printables again, where someone else already had the same issue and designed an alternative mount for the fan that allows for extra thickness. Works perfectly.



    - The beQuiet! PSU is... not that quiet. After figuring out how to control the Noctua fan in software based on SSD temps, the PSU fan is the only thing making noise at standby in this build - and I want it to be silent. Unfortunately, there is no way to control that fan. Fortunately, Corsair makes a series of SFX PSUs that fully shut down their fans below a certain power output - and they are fully modular on top of that, allowing me to save some unnecessary wiring while I'm at it. They are not easily available for sale, but I found a used SF450 in good nick and ordered it off Kleinanzeigen, should arrive in a couple days and allow to me properly enjoy the silence.

  • chente

    Approved the thread.
  • Instead of JBOD I would use the openmediavault-mergerfs plugin.

    Sounds interesting. If I understand it correctly, it combines multiple drives of different sizes into a single FS same as JBOD, but allows some drives to fail / be removed without affecting availability of data stored on the others, because files are always stored on a single disk? If so, that's indeed pretty cool and definitely useful. Would also allow for very nice backup restores with Restic or similar tools that use de-duplication and diffing, since it would only need to restore the data that was stored on the failed / removed drive and leave the others as they are. Definitely something to look into. Thanks!

    • Official Post

    If I understand it correctly, it combines multiple drives of different sizes into a single FS same as JBOD, but allows some drives to fail / be removed without affecting availability of data stored on the others, because files are always stored on a single disk?

    Yep. And you can still access each filesystems in the mergerfs pool as well.

    omv 7.0.5-1 sandworm | 64 bit | 6.8 proxmox kernel

    plugins :: omvextrasorg 7.0 | kvm 7.0.13 | compose 7.1.4 | k8s 7.1.0-3 | cputemp 7.0.1 | mergerfs 7.0.4


    omv-extras.org plugins source code and issue tracker - github - changelogs


    Please try ctrl-shift-R and read this before posting a question.

    Please put your OMV system details in your signature.
    Please don't PM for support... Too many PMs!

  • Yep. And you can still access each filesystems in the mergerfs pool as well.

    So I can create a pool from an already existing filesystem? I currently have simply created an ext4 FS on the 4TB "data" SSD, and planned to back it up and restore to a new FS when I add another drive and join them in a JBOD / mergerfs. Ofc if I can just create a mergerfs and keep the existing data on the ext4 FS, that'd be even neater.

    • Official Post

    So I can create a pool from an already existing filesystem?

    Yes, you can create a group from an EXT4 disk that already contains data. https://wiki.omv-extras.org/do…mv6:omv6_plugins:mergerfs

  • Replaced the beQuiet! PSU with a Corsair SF450 Gold, came in today.


    Downsides:

    - while the cables are modular, they are much stiffer and some of them shorter than the beQuiet ones. 24-pin ATX barely reached to the far corner of the absolutely massive mini-ITX mainboard. But I made it work.


    Upsides:

    - modular cables allowed a couple of them to stay in the box, so less clutter overall in the case (no PCI-E devices here, only one SATA and one Molex 12V wire needed)

    - it's silent. So far the system failed to reach the 90W power threshold or any of the temperature triggers for the fan to come on, even under pretty high load, so the fan isn't moving and the whole thing makes no sound whatsoever. Perfect.


    Also measured the overall power draw. Not sure how accurate my (very cheap) watt-meter is, but it indicates 15W-ish at idle and peaks of up to 30W at high load (with both CPU and SSD loaded up with doing stuff). This is a bit higher at idle than I hoped for, but still perfectly acceptable, and most importantly below the total draw of the old 2-bay Qnap NAS + Raspberry Pi that ran the Docker stuff. So I'm quite happy with the setup.

  • The case offers 5 bays for 3.5" HDDs, which I will mostly misuse with 2.5" SSDs instead riding on adapters so they properly fit. Found an adapter design that I liked and works perfectly on Printables.

    I am also using the Jonsbo N2 and would like to have a 2.5" ssd in one of the drive bays, Do you know which size you used from the printables file, 1mm, 1.5mm, or 2mm. Thanks

  • I am also using the Jonsbo N2 and would like to have a 2.5" ssd in one of the drive bays, Do you know which size you used from the printables file, 1mm, 1.5mm, or 2mm. Thanks

    I tried 1mm and 2mm sizes. 2mm is much more stable and fits fine, the N2 drive bays have a lot of room to spare - so I would recommend to go with 2mm.


    Also when mounting the side screws / rubber nubs, you can only use 3 instead of 4 - the lower rear one does not fit, since the SSD sits in that corner and its screw holes don't align. But the mount sits perfectly solid with the 2 upper and 1 front lower nub.

  • The N100DC would be neat for a more minimal build in a smaller case, with the external power brick support. Since the N2 fits a PSU comfortably, I think a "proper" SFX PSU is somewhat nicer to have. Likely marginally more efficient, too.

  • I copied this hardware setup. Is the ASM1166 nvme-sata adapter supposed to work out of the box once I plug it? I see nothing in the bios or the OS after plugging it to the motherboard. Is there anything special I need to enable in the bios or something?

  • Worked for me out of the box with OMV7. The adapter itself doesn't show as anything in the BIOS or in the OS, but the SSD I have connected through it works fine. My boot drive is connected to the mainboard's own SATA directly though.

Participate now!

Don’t have an account yet? Register yourself now and be a part of our community!